"Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance presented an outstanding Falstaff ...One found oneself utterly captivated by this Falstaff and the composer would have been pleased to see and hear such a wonderful performance." 

-Nino Pantano: International Arts, Brooklyn Discovery 2018


Prelude to Performance supports young, passionate artists from around the world.  


Prelude to Performance culminates in performances of selected operas, staged, with costumes and orchestra.

The Prelude to Performance program will focus on the preparation of an entire role to include:

  • the background of the role
  • the historical perspective of the role
  • the psychological motivations of the character
  • the use of the body and voice in the
    interpretation of the character
  • the use of language to convey the character
    with an emphasis on diction 

Approximately thirty young artists are selected to participate from auditions held during the winter and spring months.

The first four weeks are dedicated to staging, lectures, seminars, master classes and individual coaching. On the fifth week we move into the theater and focus entirely on preparation for the final performances.  Critiques are given to all participants after the performances by faculty and selected professionals. We begin staging in the first week, therefore all participants must come with their roles completely memorized and OFF BOOK by the first day of class. It should also be noted that if you arrive unprepared we reserve the option of releasing you from the program.


Prelude to Performance® gives selected young singers an opportunity to prepare and perform the complete interpretation of operatic roles in furtherance of the objectives of the Foundation. 

The Prelude to Performance® program includes:

  1. Weekly Individual Coaching (more available at your own expense)
  2. Opera Workshop (stage movement, character motivation)
  3. Foreign Language Study of Selected Operas
  4. Role Class (probe character, historical context)
  5. Libretto Study — “Speak your Part!”
  6. Recitative Study
  7. Character Study
  8. Elective Master Classes (e.g. stage combat, makeup & costumes, management seminar)
  9. Critique session (faculty and professionals)

Meet the Prelude to Performance participants for 2018



(Dame Quickly Cover)

Rachel Barg is a second year graduate student in vocal performance at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Freda Herseth. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance with an Opera Emphasis from The Boston Conservatory in May 2016 where she studied with Patty Thom. She most recently sang the role of Hippolyta in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the University of Michigan and performed Haydn's Arianna a Naxos in recital. She reprised the role of Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro at the University of Michigan. She has performed Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, the Older Woman in Dove’s opera Flight, and in Corigliano's Fern Hill with the Boston Conservatory Chorale and the Boston Conservatory Orchestra.

Rachel Barg



Yeseul Choi was born in Seoul, South Korea. She begins her 2017/2018 season as a first year student of Professional Studies Diploma in Mannes School of Music. Her mainstage work in Mannes includes singing Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro. She also performed Pamina, Juliette and La princesse in Die Zauberflöte, Roméo et Juliette and L'enfant et les sortilèges at the Mannes Opera scene concert. In her 2016/2017 season in New England Conservatory, she did Lauretta in Dr. Miracle for NEC outreach production and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Frasquita in Carmenat NEC Opera scene concert. Also, when she was an undergraduate student, she performed as Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel with Inciem Opera and as Frasquita in Carmen with Seoul Metropolitan Opera. Currently, she is studying with Arthur Levy in Mannes.

Yeseul Choi

Natalia Gonzalez-Santaliz

(Nannetta cover)

Natalia Gonzalez-Santaliz is from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, started her musical education in the Escuela Libre de Música Ernesto Ramos Antonini of Mayagüez. She is currently a second year master’s degree student in Voice Performance at Mannes, The New School in New York under the teachings of soprano Beth Roberts. She graduated with honors from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and was awarded with the Voice Department Award and the Roberto I.  Ferdmand Scholarship by Pro Arte Musical, Inc. She has worked for different music companies such as Ópera de Puerto Rico, Teatro de la Ópera, Fundación Puertorriqueña de Zarzuela y Opereta and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico. She sang the role of Susanna in the Mannes Opera Production of Le nozze di Figaro in NYC.


Natalia Gonzalez-Santaliz



José Luis Maldonado just received his Master’s degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Maitland Peters. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, he has toured in schools all over Southern California performing "Songscapes on Tour," under the direction of Ann Gresham. At the Cal State Fullerton School of Music he performed as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II, Baron Mirko Zeta in The Merry Widow by Franz Lehár, il Marito in G.C. Menotti’s Amelia Goes to the Ball and the role of Mr. JJ Peachum in Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera. At the Manhattan School of Music he performed the role of Haraschta in Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen and the role of Kalmán Zsupán in the main stage production of Die Zigeunerbaron by Johann Strauss II in 2017. He recently has performed the roles of Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, by W.A. Mozart in March 2018 and the role of Don Magnifico in Rossini’s La Cenerentola in April 2018. In July he will be performing the title role of Falstaff in Falstaff, by Giuseppe Verdi for the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance Opera Festival in New York City. Mr. Maldonado has been reviewed by Opera News as a "seemingly unlimited baritone", and he is a recipient of the Opera Buffs Inc. Career grant and was recently awarded the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation. He will begin the Holland Community Opera Fellowship with Opera Omaha in August 2018.

José Luis Maldonado



Nina Mutalifu is an ethnic Uyghur Soprano born in the city of  Urumqi of China, Ms. Mutalifu received her B.M degree in Voice Performance at Shanghai Conservatory of Music and recently graduated from Boyer College of Music at Temple University with her M.M degree in Opera, With Boyer Opera she covered the title role in Haydn’s La Canterina, Dido in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and performed Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Cio-Cio-san in Madama Butterfly. In past seasons, she was invited to participate in Opera Fuoco Baroque Music Festival, Ising Young Artist Festival, Georg Solti Accademia Bel Canto Masterclass(NCPA), Renata Scotto Opera program, and last summer she has appeared as Liza in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame with Russian Opera Workshop. She made her professional debut singing the role of Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra in Shanghai,China(2015), her previous roles also include Mimì(La Boheme), Micaëla(Carmen), First Lady(Die Zauberflöte).She won the Carroll H. Hynson and Family Award from Annapolis Opera’s Vocal Competition.


Nina Mutalifu



Gabe Reitemeier is a second-year masters student at Michigan State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Voice from Grand Valley State University, where he appeared in leading roles in their fully-staged productions, as well as being called upon to sing and arrange music for annual, large-scale university events. He is excited to be continuing his education at MSU under the tutelage of Marc Embree and the College of Music Faculty, and hopes to build a career in performing on the stages of both opera and musical theatre upon completing his degree.


Gabe Reitemeier


(Nannetta Auditor)

Melanie Spector is working on her undergraduate degree at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Mark Oswald. At a very early age she performed in the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus for seven seasons. Her mother, Susan Spector, is Second Oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Melanie sang in the chorus for Prelude to Performance's production of Carmen. She also performed Queen of the Night, First Spirit, and Second Spirit in Mark Oswald’s Summer Opera Experience at the National Opera Center in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She worked for a second year as an Editorial Intern at OPERA NEWS magazine. Directed by Catherine Malfitano, performed the role of Madame Goldentrill in scenes from The Impresario in MSM’s Junior Opera Theater. Other scene credits include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. She also sang in the chorus for Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. In addition to singing, Melanie has been a regular panelist on the Toll Brothers Metropolitan Opera Quiz broadcast during Saturday matinées.


Melanie Spector


(Ernesto cover)

Andrew Zimmermann's lyric and versatile voice has earned him leading roles as well as frequent performances as a concert soloist. Andrew graduated from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Music and earned a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music. Most recently, Andrew has performed with Sarasota Opera, St. Petersburg Opera and Opera on the Avalon. Favorite roles include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Daniel Buchanan in Street Scene.


Andrew Zimmermann


(Nannetta auditor)

Born in Ukraine and currently based in London, Oksana Sliubyk graduated
with distinction from the Lviv National Academy of Music in her home city
and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she was
studying under the guidance of Susan Waters.
In 2011-13, she was tutored by the renowned international soprano Nina
In 2013 Oksana was awarded a bursary by the University of Ottawa and
was accepted to study at one of the world’s leading schools, the Guildhall
School of Music and Drama in London. She was a two-time winner of an
International Opera Awards Foundation’s bursary and a scholarship
granted by the Guildhall School of Drama. Oksana performed at the
International Opera Awards gala ceremony in London in 2015 and was
featured in the Opera Now magazine on two occasions. Since 2016, she has
made her TV debut with an opera diva cameo appearance in a popular
British TV series, has participated in many prestigious concerts and
international festivals such as Casalmaggiore International Music Festival
and Livorno Music Festival in Italy, Miami Music Festival in the United
States. She attended various master classes studying with Jake Heggie,
Anthony Manoli, Petra Lang, Graham Johnson, Stuart Skelton, Martin Katz,
Edith Wiens and Benjamin Luxon.
Recently, Oksana has been granted an Exceptional Talent status in the
United Kingdom and she now lives in London. Oksana is supported by the
International Opera Awards Foundation, Talent Unlimited and Kathleen
Trust in the UK.

Oksana Sliubyk


(Meg Page auditor)

Allyson Bennett is an American soprano studying at the New England Conservatory of Music with a major in vocal performance and a liberal arts minor in German studies. She studys under Jane Eaglen. Throughout her time at NEC she has many accomplishments including, her portrayal of the role of Fiordiligi. She was an ensemble member in NEC’s graduate opera program’s production of Die Zauberflöte, as well as a tour with the chamber singers. She has won two awards in just her freshman year of studies, both with the Great Composers International Music Competition. She was awarded Second Runner-Up for Artist of the Year with her performance of Marcello’s Il mio bel foco.


Allyson Bennett


(Meg Page cover)

Linda Collazo is a student of the Macaulay Honors College, studying Vocal Performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music. Her recent performed as a soloist in Frank London’s 1001 Voices. She also made her debut as La Cesca in Gianni Schicchi in Centro Studi Italiani in Urbania, Italy. She sang Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with the Queens College Opera Theater. She sand 3rd Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in both Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, opera scenes in their opera galas in Carnegie Hall with the New York Lyric Opera Theater. She won first place in the Bronx Arts Ensemble Young Artist Contest. She will be playing the role of Cherubino in the Queens College Opera Theater’s production of Le nozze di Figaro. She is a student of Dr. Sherry Overholt.

Linda Collazo


(Bardolfo  cover)

Louis Alexander Riva is a 2011 Bachelor of Music recipient from The Juilliard School. His tenure includes scene performances as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte, and Sam in Street Scene. Full production credits include Lysander in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gherrardo in Gianni Schicchi, Roderick II in Hindemith's A Long Christmas Dinner and Rumplestilskin in Sousa's Transformations. Summer festival opportunities with the Chautauqua Institute and the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv have seen Louis as Pitichinaccio in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Valetto in L'Incoronazione di Poppea, and High Priest in Idomeneo. Recent engagements include Barolfo and Fenton in Bronx Opera's production of Falstaff, Lyonel in Flotow's Martha with Utopia Opera, and Tenor Soloist in Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Litha Symphony Orchestra. This season, Louis is thilled to join Prelude to Performance covering Bardolfo, and will compete in the Mario Lanza Competition for Tenors.

Louis Alexander Riva


(Nannetta auditor)

Shantal Martin is a soprano hailing from the beautiful island of Barbados. Ms. Martin’s sound can be described as bell-like with a radiating warmth. Some of her most recent performances include performing as The Vixen Sharp Ears in The Manhattan School of Musicʼs production of Janacekʼs The Cunning Little Vixen. She has also sang with the Boston Pops Orchestra and for The Prime Minister’s Independence Ball both in Barbados. Ms. Martin has also appeared as collaborative artist with the renowned Barbados Police Force Band and with the talented pianist Elaine Kwon. Ms. Martin is known for her charisma and vivacity on stage and willingness to take on any challenge thrown her way. Ms. Martin is also a very skilled dancer having trained intensively for over 13 years in ballet. Her primary studies are with Ruth Golden at the Manhattan School of Music where she has also worked closely with Ashley Putnam, Catherine Malfitano, Carolyn Marlow, Dona D Vaughn and Kent Tritle.


Shantal Martin


(Nannetta Auditor)

Maura Grace is a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Most recently, she performed Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with the Manhattan Opera Studio. Other credits include Pepik in The Cunning Little Vixenwith Miami Music Festival; Olympia in Pinocchio with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre; Isabel in Pirates of Penzance with Wichita Grand Opera. OU Opera: Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi; Madame Hertz in Der Schauspieldirektor. She has performed internationally throughout Italy and China. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Drake University and a Master of Music in Opera Performance from The University of Oklahoma. She currently studies with Dr. Robert C. White at The Juilliard School.

Maura Grace


(Meg Page 2nd cover)

Christine Roberts has performed the title roles in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Taurideand in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Jiao Mu in Xiang's The Savage Land. As a concert soloist, she performed in Handel's Messiah with Michigan State University. Competition successes include First Place in both the Chicago NATS Junior Division and DePaul Kleinman Vocal Competition. She was also selected as a Vocal Finalist through Young Arts in 2011. Roberts is pursuing a Doctoral of Music degree in vocal performance at MSU, studying with Professor Jane Bunnell.


Christine Roberts


(Alice 2nd cover)

Jenna Washburn originally from Buffalo, NY, is a recent graduated with a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at Michigan State University, under the tutelage of Professor Richard Fracker. She also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from MSU. She has performed several leading roles with MSU Opera Theatre, including Mimì in La Bohème, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, and Mrs. Anderssen in A Little Night Music. She was seen as Lucy Honeychurch in Robert Nelson’s contemporary opera, A Room With a View, and most recently sang the role of Mrs. Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. She also travelled to China where she performed a concert with several colleagues from MSU, as well as students from Tianjin and Beijing, China.


Jenna Washburn


(Norina cover)

Sooyeon Kang is currently a second-year Graduate Diploma student in the voice/opera department in New England Conservatory of Music. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance in Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea and she also holds a Master degree in Opera Performance in The University of Texas at Austin where she performed the roles of Musetta in La boheme and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She has performed with the Balcones Community Orchestra as the winner of Classical Artists Development Foundation Voice competition. She played the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi which is both New England Conservatory and Hubbard Hall. She will perform the title role of Cendrillon, for NEC and also the role of Sandrina in La Finta Giardiniera at NEC.

Sooyeon Kang



Gerardo de la Torre is a Mexican baritone gifted with a powerful voice and a versatile technique.He's the second prize winner of the Sinaloa's IX International Vocal Competition 2017, making his debut in Palacio de Bellas Artes as the winner of the SIVAM Award in the Carlo Morelli's XXXIV National Voice Competition 2016 The baritone has been recognized as "a resonant voice with ease for low notes" in the Pro-Ópera magazine, September 2015 edition. His performances include Ford in Falstaff, Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, Germont in La Traviata, Silvio in Pagliacci, Marcello in La Bohème among other roles in the Italian, French and Russian repertoire.

Gerardo de la Torre



Maria Brea is a native of Caracas, Venezuela. This 2018, Ms. Brea sings the role of Nanetta in Falstaff with the Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance. She recently performed Micaëla with West Bay Opera. She performed the role of the Bird in Glass-Moran’s Juniper Tree at Wolf Trap Opera 2017. Ms. Brea performed the role of Glaša in Janáček’s Katya Kabanova in 2017 at the Juilliard School. In 2015 Ms. Brea sang the role of Marie in La Fille du Regiment with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance and Lisa in Lehar’s Das Land des Lächelns at Manhattan School of Music. In 2014 she sang the role of Adina in L’elisir d’amore at WBO. Maria was an Apprentice Artist at Palm Beach 2018 where she performed Bridesmaid I in Le Nozze di Figaro at Kravis Center. She won the first prize in the Giulio Gari Competition 2017 and New York Lyric Opera Competition 2016. Ms. Brea won second prize in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal competition 2017 and she received an Encouragement award from The Metropolitan Opera National Council, Connecticut District and The Gerda Lissner Song Competition. Maria is a proud recipient of a Novick Grant.

Maria Brea


(Pistola cover)

Eric Delagrange was recently seen as Gideon March/Dashwood in Little Women with Opera in the Heights, as well as Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviliawith Houston Grand Opera’s HGOco. He won the Dr. & Mrs. Bob Robinson Award in the Mary Jacobs Smith Competition; First place in The American Opera Society of Chicago. He performed with Houston Grand Opera’s HGOco as Giacomo in The Puffed-Up Prima Donna. He returns to Prelude having sung the roles of Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata and Benoit/Alcindoro in La Bohème. He has a Master of Music Degree from DePaul University, where he sang the title role in Falstaff and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Mercyhurst University, the title role in Gianni Schicchi.


Eric Delagrange


(Notary Cover)

Matthew Greenberg is from Okemos, Michigan. His love for performance began at Okemos High School where he had the opportunity to perform as Potiphar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Pinocchio in Shrek the Musical, Lucas Lloyd in Loserville the Musical, John Brooke in Little Women, and Karl the Giant in Big Fish. He is currently a Junior at Michigan State University studying under Professors Mark and Sadie Rucker. Matthew is in the early stages of his opera career. He has been in productions of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Kurt Weill's Street Scene with MSU's Opera Theater. This will be Matthew's debut with Prelude, and he is very excited to have this opportunity.

Matthew Greenberg



John Kim has joined The Bronx Opera Company for the 2017-2018 season, debut covering Pedrillo in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio. He has also joined the 2017-2018 roster at Connecticut Lyric Opera, debuting with the company as Monostatos in the mainstage production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. Summer 2017, Mr. Kim has debuted with Opera Breve in Bizet’s masterpiece, Carmen as Remendado. Also in spring 2017, he has debuted as the roles of Joseph, John, and the Pilate in 'His Life, The Musical’ in Zaragoza, Spain with Promise International. Mr. Kim has trained with Mediterranean Opera Studio, V.O.I.C.Experience and most recently, joining the young artist program for Connecticut Lyric Opera 2017-2018 season. Future engagements include: Aida, Cosi fan tutte, La Forza del Destino. Mr. Kim is under the discipline of Maestro Gioacchino Li Vigni.


John Kim


(Nannetta 2nd cover)

Anna Montgomery is a first-year masters student at Michigan State University. This past fall she made her MSU Opera Theatre debut as Mother in Hansel and Gretel. This past summer she played Rose Maurrant in Street Scene with the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center, and she will return to the role this spring in MSUs production. Other roles include Abigail Williams in The Crucible, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, and Papagena in The Magic Flute with the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with Opera Steamboat in her home state of Colorado.

Anna Montgomery



Australian-Armenian bass and pianist Christopher Nazarian, is a graduate from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His credentials include a Master in Piano and a Master in Opera Performance. Christopher coaches with Armen Boyajian made possible with financial assistance from The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust through their Music Scholarship Program.

This season: Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Ben in The Telephone, Colline in La Boheme, Pandolf in Cendrillon and Leporello in Don Giovanni.

Roles: Sarastro/ Sprecher in The Magic Flute and Truffaldino/ Lackai in Ariadne Auf Naxos, Buffo in Der Schauspieldirektor, Gideon March/ Mr Dashwood in Little Women, Bass roles in English Eccentrics, King Balthazar in Amal and the Night Visitors, Rudolfo in La Sonnambula, Frere Laurance in Romeo and Juliet, and Dulcamara in Elisir D’Amore.

Highlights: Bass soloist in Bernstein Mass at the Sydney Opera House, Winner of Russian Song at Sydney Eisteddfod, Finalist in Opera Awards and Male Operatic Voice, Finalist in Lady Fairfax New York scholarship award at The Opera Foundation for Young Australians.

Christopher Nazarian


(Ford cover)

Jeremiah Sander is a Metropolitan Opera National Council Encouragement Award recipient. He is a distinguished concert soloist, appearing with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as the baritone soloist for Ein Deutsches Requiem. His collaborative spirit has allowed him to work with emerging composers on interpreting a range of projects. He is a Performer's Diploma student at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, studying with Jane Dutton. He graduated from Butler University with a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance. In addition to singing, he is a hobbyist composer, concert organizer, and social justice advocate. He was most recently seen in Carol Vaness’ Opera Workshop in the title role of Gianni Schicchi and Don Inigo Gomez in L’heure espagnole.


Jeremiah Sander



Baritone Young Kwang, native of South Korea, is a graduate of the College of Music, Seoul National University.
He received his Master of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Mark Oswald. Mr. Yoo also holds with Certificate from the Opera Institute at Boston University.
His awards the 1 st place in Osaka International Competition hosted in Japan and 2nd place in the Manhattan International Music Competition.
Previous credits include Rigoletto (Rigoletto) with Seoul National University, La Bohème (Marcello), Lakmé (Frederic) and Luisa Miller (Miller) with Manhattan School of Music, The Telephone (Ben) with Te Art Ro Production, Emmeline (Mr. Maguire), Le Nozze di
Figaro (Il Conte), The War Reporter (Paul Watson) and Pelléas et Mélisande (Pelléas) with Opera instutute and Madama Butterfly (Sharpless) with Martina Arroyo Foundation and the Cleveland Opera Theater.
The New York Times wrote for his portrayal of Sharpless, “His solid baritone voice and
stolid bearing suited Sharpless.” Opera News stated “He provided sturdy, empathetic presence.”

Mr. Yoo portrayed Le Monstre Cathos in the U.S. premiere of Ibert’s Persée et Andromède directed by James Robinson and under the baton of Maestro Pierre Vallet at the Manhattan School of Music. The New York Times selected this Persée et Andromède as one of the ten best classical performances in New York in 2016.

Mr. Yoo’s oratorio work includes appearances at the Symphony hall in Boston as Adam in Haydn’s Creation. He also performed as a baritone soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Alice Tully hall in Lincoln Center in New York City and Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
This season, Mr. Yoo will have several concerts with New York City Concert Society. He will return to the Martina Arroyo Foundation by performing Don Pasquale (Malatesta) this summer.

Young Kwang Yoo


(Meg Page)

Molly Burke is known for her versatility in a range of dramatic and comedic roles. Playing the roles of Florence Pike from Britten’s Albert Herring and Elizabeth Proctor in Ward’s The Crucible where she was praised for her “secure mezzo and intense declamation captured Elizabeth’s strength and heartbreak.” This summer she sang La Badessa and La Suora Zelatrice in Suor Angelica at The Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance. She joined the Wagner Institute for their inaugural season in singing Roßweiße in Wagner’s Die Walküre. While an apprentice at Sarasota Opera she sang una vecchia in Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re as, Cio-Cio-san's mother in Madama Butterfly, and covered Mere Jeanne in Poulenc’s Dialouges des Carmelites.

Molly Burke


(Don Pasquale)

Joshua DeVane has performed in venues across the United States, and is equally at home in contemporary and canonical repertoire. Recently, his appearance as the title character of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance was met with critical acclaim. Mr. DeVane is also active as a soloist, appearing recently in masterworks by Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Faure, and others. This Spring and Summer, he can be seen as Danilo in Lehar’s The Merry Widowwith Loveland Opera Theatre, Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with Boulder Opera), and Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Boulder Symphony). Mr. DeVane is a native of the Savannah, Georgia area, and currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Joshua DeVane



Nam Won Huh is one of Germany’s most prolific young tenors, has recently sung as a permanent member of Opera Heidelberg and embodied to great critical acclaim many important roles such as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Belmonte in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Alfred in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Tamino in Mozart’s Magic Flute. Before his contract in Heidelberg, he was a member of the Opera Studio at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich where he was cast in many roles including Nemorino in Donizetti’s L'elisir d'Amore and Ramiro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Numerous guest engagements have taken him to the Theater Braunschweig, the Stuttgart State Opera, Komische Oper Berlin, Theater Chemnitz and Landestheater in Innsbruck, Austria. He has also guested as Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Salerno, Italy and Daegu, South Korea. As a recording artist, he worked with Sony Records as Araspe in Didone abbandonata by Leonardo Vinci/George Frideric Handel. Namwon has won many prizes at prestigious competitions such as the Anneliese Rothenberger Competition, the International Voice Competition Ferruccio Tagliavini and the Richard Strauss Competition. He is a graduate of the School of Music and Performing Arts in Munich, Germany and Yonsei University in his native country, South Korea.


Nam Won Huh



Tenor Kyu Young Lee, a native of South Korea, earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal arts at Seoul National University, and earned Master of Music degree in vocal arts at University of Southern California under the Professor Elizabeth Hynes. He received the Seoul National University Alumni development Fund Scholarship as well as the Music Merit Scholarship for Excellent Academic record at USC. He also graduated Professional study program in vocal arts at the Manhattan School of Music under the Professor Marlena Kleinman Malas.
He has performed with the Korea Prime Philharmonic Orchestra and he got lots of
concerts in Korea. He was one of winners at the metropolitan Opera Competition district of Colorado as well as Saltwork Opera Competition. Also, he has sung at the Aspen Opera Theater Center and had a role as Tamino in Magic Flute and Chaplain of the monastery in Dialogues of the Carmelites with the USC Thorton Opera. He also sang Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at Manhattan School of Music and he sang Lucarnio in Ariodante with Chautauqua Opera. Also he went to Aspen Music festival to perform cover of role as Rodolfo in Opera La Boheme and Luigi in A Wedding and he went to Music Academy of the West last Summer with a role of Hoffmann in The Tales of Hoffmann.
Currently, He is attending Boston University as 2nd year as a Graduate Program Student under the tutelage of Professor Matthew Dibattista.

Kyuyoung Lee


(Nannetta auditor)

Juliet Morris recently finished her Masters in Opera Performance degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where she sang Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica, Madame Herz in Der Shauspieldirektor, and The Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. She also performed in the choruses of Hansel und Gretel and The Dialogue of the Carmelites. Previously, Juliet participated as a Young Artist at the Franco American Vocal Academy for two consecutive summers, where highlights included singing Diane in Orphée Aux Enfers, as well as making her European debut singing Ninetta in La Périchole. Juliet also graduated with her Bachelors in Vocal Performance from New York University, where she performed in the operas Cendrillon, The Student Prince, and Night Caps. In addition, Juliet graduated winning the Excellence in Vocal Performance Award.


Juliet Morris



Cynthia López Pérez is completing her graduate studies at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, pursuing a Master of Music in Opera Performance (’19) under the tutelage of Dr. Rebecca Folsom. Ms. López made her debut on the opera stage as Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Ohio State University Lyric and Opera Theatre. She has had the pleasure of appearing as a soloist in various concert works for the Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna, Ohio State University Women's Chorus, Ohio State University Chorale, and OperaWorks. She will be performing the role of Despina (cvr) this spring with Boston Conservatory Opera.


Cynthia López Pérez


(Dame Quickly)

Emily Skilling is a Mezzo-Soprano, recently graduated from Westminster Choir College where she studied with Laura Brooks Rice. She performed several leading roles with Westminster Opera Theatre, the highlights of which include Dame Quickly in Falstaffand La Zia Principessa in Angelica. Additionally, she has extensive choral experience; she has performed with the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, Kinnara Ensemble, and the world-renowned Westminster Choir. Recently, she performed with the American Bach Soloists Academy as a soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Handel’s Parnasso in festa where she was recognized for her “eloquence” and “tonal beauty” in the San Francisco Chronicle. This past summer, she sang with the Princeton Festival and was a Fellow at the CoOPERAtive Program, where she was awarded the CoOPERAtive Prize. She recently performed Alexander Nevsky with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra and Third Lady in the CoOPERAtive Program’s production of Die Zauberflöte. She will sing the Durufle Requiem in Atlanta this Spring.

Emily Skilling



Recently, Huang Te Yu sings as a guest tenor for Guillermo Amaya’s new production of Donizetti’s Adeliafor Theater für Niedersachsen, Hildesheim, marking the German premiere of the piece. In his Hometown, Taipei, he has participated in Tosca as Spoletta and several concerts. He was born in Taipei and studied music in National normal university in Taipei, major in voice with Ren Rong. In his university year Te Yu won the scholarship which was provided by Istituto nazionale Tostiano in Ortona, Italy and studied with Nicoletta Panni. Te Yu was recipient of the Conservatory Santa Cecilia of Rome in 2011, studying with Tiziana Scandaletti and Amelia Felle. In Italy, Te Yu participated masterclasses with Rockwell Blake, Elizabeth Norberg-Schultz and several performances which held by conservatory. After he completed his diploma in Rome, he continued to study in UiS in Stavanger, Norway with Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz. In 2015, Te Yu was assistant of Chinese stage director Dan Dan Li, who cooperates constantly in Chinese Opera house in Beijing.


Huang Te Yu


Meet the Prelude to Performance staff 2018! 



(Founder and Role Class)

For many years, Martina Arroyo's name has been synonymous with music making of the highest order. She has performed at New York's Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera, London's Covent Garden, Milan's La Scala, the Vienna State Opera and the Buenos Aires Teatro Colon, and in the concert halls of Salzburg, Berlin, Rome, Paris and New York. She was appointed by President Ford as a member of the National Endowment for the Arts, where she served for six years. Ms. Arroyo is a trustee emerita of the Hunter College Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera Guild. She is a recent recipient of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors, the 2009 Opera News Award and 2010 NEA Opera Award. Her teaching credentials include Indiana University in Bloomington, University of California Los Angeles, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Ms. Arroyo was the first recipient of the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. Other organizations that have honored her include The Chester Ludgin Foundation, Orpheus Orchestra, Opera Noire, The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, and most recently the Gerda Lissner Foundation. She was also inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has delighted television and radio audiences with appearances on "The Odd Couple" and over 20 appearances on the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson; she is a frequent guest and host on the "Singers' Roundtable," the intermission feature of live radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera.

Martina Arroyo



Nobuko Amemiya has built a reputation as a dynamic and versatile collaborator; her playing is described as "soaring with a thrilling panache, and then with great warmth and suppleness." (Valley News, VT) Equally committed to vocal and instrumental chamber music, she traveled three continents to give recitals and concerts with conductors and soloists such as Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, Brian Priestman, James Dunham, Colin Carr, Rober Spano, and Lucy Shelton. An enthusiastic advocate of new music, Ms. Amemiya has worked with and performed music by many of today’s leading composers including John Harbison, George Crumb, Bright Sheng, Oliver Knussen and George Benjamin. Ms. Amemiya engaged in various music festivals, including Festival de Música da Figueira da Foz in Portugal, Britten-Pears Institute at Aldeburgh Music Festival, International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, Aspen Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Center where she was awarded Tanglewood Hooton Prize, acknowledging the “extraordinary commitment of talent and energy.” She earned prizes and awards at “Vittorio Gui” competition in Florence, Italy, the Munich International Music Competition, Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition, Manhattan School of Music President’s Award, Aldeburgh Music Festival Grant, SongFest Faculty Award and OperaNorth Special Recognition Award. Studied with distinguished artists such as Claude Frank, John Perry, Margo Garrett, Abbey Simon, and Emmanuel Ax, she holds double DMA degrees in Solo Piano and Collaborative Piano Performances. Active as a coach and educator, she worked for AIMS in Graz, Opera North, Aspen Music School, Bronx Opera, Grinnell College, New England Conservatory and University of Kansas. Currently she works for the Manhattan School of Music, Palazzo Ricci Akademie für Musik in Montepulciano, Italy, and Lyric Opera Studio Weimar in Germany, and is a music director of the enCANTA Collective in New York City.

Nobuko Amemiya


(Italian Class/Libretto)

Sergio Stefani was born in Bologna, Italy and grew up in Rome, where he studied Liberal Arts at the Liceo “Pilo Albertelli” and Law at the University of Rome, before coming to the United States. About twenty years ago, he devised a unique approach for teaching his native language:  the opportunity to learn at one’s own pace; a teaching program that must be the student’s learning program; individual lessons to cover grammar or special individual needs; conversation classes to hone one’s skills; diction and role interpretation for opera singers. Sergio has been a supernumerary at the Metropolitan Opera, and is proud to have had among his students some members of that company.

Sergio Stefani


(Falstaff Conductor/Coach)


Richard Cordova has had a multi-faceted career as both conductor and pianist all over the world. As Music Director of the Little Opera Theatre of New York, he recently conducted the New York Premiere of iconic composer Carlisle Floyd’s latest opera, Prince of Players with the composer in attendance, which received critical acclaim from chief music critic Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times. He previously led the company’s double bill of two earlier one-act operas by Mr. Floyd, Slow Dusk & Markheim, as well as both the Gustav Holst double bill of The Wandering Scholar & Savitri, and the New York Stage Premiere of Mozart’s Mitridate, rè di Ponto. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, and made his professional debut as a conductor in Bergen, Norway leading the Scandinavian Premiere of Candide. He subsequently conducted a wide variety of productions for Opera North (New Hampshire), Sarasota Opera, Baltimore Opera, Berkshire Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Long Beach Opera, Opera Company of Boston, and Oper der Stadt Bonn, as well as such educational
institutions as California State University Long Beach and both Manhattan School of
Music and Mannes College of Music in New York. His conducting assignments have
ranged from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas to Stravinsky's L' Histoire du soldat and have
included such diverse works as Die Zauberflöte, Falstaff, Il trovatore, Carmen, Tosca, Pagliacci, Macbeth, La Périchole, Il barbiere di Siviglia, L’Étoile, Mahagonny Songspiel, Die Lustige Witwe, and The Mother of Us All, an opera he has conducted more often than any other living conductor.
Mr. Cordova has guest conducted with several symphony orchestras including the Atlanta Symphony, as well as both the Rhode Island and the Dayton Philharmonics. As a pianist and coach, he has collaborated with such artists as Frederica von Stade, Renato Bruson, Florence Quivar, Julia Migenes, Ailyn Pérez, and Martina Arroyo. He has worked in this capacity for the Istanbul Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Orleans Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, where he served as Director of the Young Artist Program. Mr. Cordova also served for four years at Manhattan School of Music as Chorus Master for their Opera Theater productions, and at Westminster Choir College as Music Director of the Opera Theater. From 2003-09, he held the title of Program and Music Director for the Studio Artist Program with Sarasota Opera.
Having been previously active also in the musical theater field, Mr. Cordova was the
Music Director for Julie Taymor's Juan Darién, both during it’s initial off-Broadway
performances, and later during its Tony Award nominated run at Lincoln Center Theater.
For the past twenty-four years he has toured internationally with various productions of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, conducting the work on four continents, most recently in Israel at the Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, and in Germany at both the Hamburgische Staatsoper and the Semperoper in Dresden.

Richard Cordova


(Assistant Stage Manager)

Daheen Kim is an undergraduate student in voice performance at the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College under the tutelage of Professor Mark Schnaible. It is her first year to join Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance to gain theater and stage management experience. Her previous performances include Second Spirit from Mozart's The Magic Flute, Sandman and Dew Fairy in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and the Aerial Spirits in Henry Purcell's opera, The Indian Queen. She is a recipient of Brooklyn College's Conservatory Choral Award in 2018 and the Jean Hakes Vocal Award in 2015.

Daheen Kim


(Assistant Administrative Director)

Christine Roberts has performed
the title roles in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride and in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Jiao Mu in Xiang's The Savage Land. As a concert soloist, she performed in Handel's Messiah with Michigan State
University. Competition successes include First Place in both the Chicago NATS Junior Division and DePaul Kleinman Vocal Competition. She was also selected as a Vocal Finalist through Young Arts in 2011. Roberts is pursuing a Doctoral of Music degree in vocal performance at MSU, studying with Professor Jane Bunnell.

Christine Roberts


(Administrative/Artistic Director)

Mark Rucker first sang Renato in Un ballo in maschera with Luciano Pavarotti. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Amonasro in Aida and returned as Don Carlo in La forza del destinoRigolettoand Tonio in I Pagliacci. His Italian debut was Rigolettoin Bologna and he returned to Italy for such roles as Macbeth and Nabucco. Other appearances have included Stankar in Stiffelio at Wiener Staatsoper, Macbeth and Rigoletto for Opera Liege, Nabucco for the Savonlinna Festival and Amonasro for Arena di Verona. His Carnegie Hall debut was Don Carlo in La forza del destino, Antonio in Linda di Chamonix at the Concertgebow and Il trovatore with New Orleans Opera. Also sang Amonasro and his first Dutchman in Der Fliegende Holländer in Belgium. Recent engagements include the title role of Rigoletto singing the first time with Won Whi Choi and Cecilia Lopez who are both Prelude to Performance alumni.


Mark Rucker


(Director, Falstaff)

Australia-born Ian Campbell commenced his professional opera career in 1967 as a tenor with Opera Australia. He sang a variety of roles with the Company through the opening season in the Sydney Opera House appearing in Der RosenkavalierTannhÄuserOtelloThe Rake´s ProgressDie ZauberflöteFalstaffTurandotand Un ballo in Maschera among many other operas. He has been General Director of The State Opera of South Australia, Assistant Artistic Administrator with the Metropolitan Opera, and General Director and Artistic Director of San Diego Opera. As a stage director his many past productions include Murder in the CathedralDon QuixoteKatya KabanovaToscaIl trovatoreLa bohèmeand Falstaff for San Diego Opera, Les contes d´Hoffmannand La bohème in South Australia and Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci for Opera Santa Barbara. He recently directed Terrence McNally´s play, Master Class, for Opera Orlando. He has given master classes around the USA and Australia including at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, San Diego State University, Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the University of Denver working with singers on staging, audition presentation and aria interpretation. He has judged many vocal competitions including the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition, and chaired the Metropolitan Opera Auditions at the Sydney Opera House.


Ian Campbell


(Movement Class)

Wendy Taucher, New Yorker, is a director, choreographer and author.  Her performance company, Wendy Taucher Dance Opera Theater, performs regularly in NYC and is in residence summers at Featherstone Center for the Arts on Martha’s Vineyard. Recent tours include performances in Boston, Chicago, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Cape Cod and Key West.  Taucher’s original dance, theater and performance pieces, along with her direction and choreography for opera and music theater, have been favorably featured in media outlets around the world including the New York Times, NPR, Village Voice, Dance Magazine, Opera News, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Daily News, Vineyard Gazette, Martha’s Vineyard Times, Vineyard Magazine, MV Arts & Ideas, Times of London, La Republica, The Scottsman and Slovenian TV.  Among multiple grants and commissions Taucher has received, they include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Jacob’s Pillow.  She is a contributing author for multiple titles at Pearson Education and was a long-time Teaching Artist at Lincoln Institute.  She has collaborated with Carly Simon, The Jose Limon Dance Company and Blue Brothers Approved Ventures.  Of Taucher’s work as a choreographer, Bessie Schonberg said “Wendy Taucher is a choreographer of note.  Note her.  I have.”  Referring to Taucher’s work in opera and theater, Marni Nixon said “Simply one of the best directors I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”  Bob Brustein wrote “That was a truly splendid evening last night. Doreen and I felt privileged to be there.  Congratulations to all of your performers.  They are without exception, superb.  I am sure Mozart must have been happy too.”

Wendy Taucher


(Costume Designer)

Charles Caine brings his talents and experience to Prelude for this 14th Season.  A New Yorker by birth, and a Carnegie-Mellon graduate, he first joined the Met as Resident Costume Designer, working with some of opera’s most distinguished luminaries, like Zeffirelli and Chagall.  His Met production of Luisa Miller was seen on PBS, starring Domingo, Scotto, and Milnes. After 17 seasons, Charles designed for NYCO, Miami, San Diego, Chicago, and Opera Pacific, including a recent Cenerentola in Orlando. In August, he designs a new Rigoletto for the Berkshire Opera Festival. He is featured in the June issue of “The Artful Mind.” He is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829.  Ccaine123@aol.com.

Charles Caine


(Orchestra Contractor)

Marc Szammer  has performed as a soloist and in chamber music recitals across Europe and North America. As a New York-based freelancer, he plays and records with numerous groups including Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and Artemis Chamber
Ensemble. He performs regularly in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as well as other New York venues such as The Blue Note and Le Poisson Rouge. He has also appeared with various pop artists such as Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Patti LaBelle, Carlos Santana, John Legend and Olivia Newton-John. Born in Quebec, Canada, he began his musical studies at the age of five. He later pursued his musical training by attending New York City’s Mannes College of Music. As a student of Sally Thomas, he received the degrees of Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and also completed the Professional Studies Diploma in violin performance.

Marc Szammer


(Production Manager/Properties Manager)

Linda Childs is

Linda Childs


(Music Director)

Maestro Willie Anthony Waters  is the former General and Artistic Director of Connecticut Opera. He conducted numerous noteworthy productions for the company, including the Arena production of Aïda in 1991, Otello, Porgy and Bess and Salome. He has been a guest conductor for numerous American and European opera companies and symphony orchestras, and for several in South Africa. In 2002, Maestro Waters debuted at New York City Opera, and in 2008, he made his debut at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. In 2005, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford. Recent engagements include Carmen for Florida Grand Opera, Tosca for Opera Memphis, and Die Fledermaus for Opera Hamilton (Ontario), University of Connecticut and Northwestern University.

Maestro Willie Anthony Waters 


(Conductor, Don Pasquale)

Maestro Steven M. Crawford is among the most versatile musicians on the classical scene today. He has conducted in opera companies and orchestras around the United States, has accompanied the worlds finest singers, and is in the top tier of coaches in the opera world. Maestro Crawford’s conducting engagements include performances with the Metropolitan Opera (La BoèmeCavalleria RusticanaPagliacciFaust and Madama Butterfly), Cincinnati Opera, Greater Miami Opera, Syracuse Opera, Kentucky Opera, Dayton Opera, Nevada Opera, Chelsea Opera and Opera Idaho. He has also conducted a number of world and NYB premieres, including A Chekhov Trilogy by Richard Wargo, Honor by Christian Mcleer, and the Mark of Cain by Matthew Harris. His positions (past and present) include principal conductor of the Greater Miami Opera, principal conductor of Land of Enchantment Opera, and principal conductor/artistic advisor of Opera Idaho. He has been engaged as conductor by the New World Symphony as well as cover to Kurt Mazur with the New York Philharmonic. An active accompanist, Maestro Crawford has performed in recital with Håkan Hagegåard, Ortrun Wenkel, Sue Patchell, Mallory Walker, and many others. He has worked extensively as a coach with Sherrill Milnes, Tom Krause, and Aprile Milo. A long-time proponent of training both singers and instrumentalists, Maestro Crawford was Music Director of Land of Enchantment Opera, and Senior coach for the Vann Vocal Institute. He has conducted at University of Illinois, Portland State University and Prelude to Performance, and in 2009 he spearheaded the training of instrumentalists for the Bel Canto institute of Firenze, IT.


Maestro Steven M. Crawford

BRAD LEMONS(Combat Class)

(Fightmaster/ Fight class)

Brad Lemons  served as Fight Director at the Metropolitan Opera: Fanciulla del West, Stiffelio, Simon Boccanegra, Carmen, Otello. Prelude: Così fan tutte, Les Contes d´Hoffmann, Don Giovanni. Broadway: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Off-Broadway: Treasure Island, Macbeth, Evil Dead: The Musical, Hamlet, Othello. NYC: Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The Wild Party, Rashomon. Regionally: White Noise, Oleanna, That Championship Season, King Lear, American Buffalo, Murder in the Cathedral.  Film: Asylum Seekers, Beyond Belief, Bust. TV: "All My Children." He has taught at Juilliard, Mannes School of Music, Cornell University, and is currently teaching at Broadway Classroom, New York Conservatory of Dramatic Art, and Circle in the Square Theatre School.

Brad Lemons


(Makeup & Wig Designer)

Steven Horak was a staff member of the Makeup Department of the Metropolitan Opera for twenty seasons following twelve seasons on the staff of the San Francisco Opera Wig and Makeup Department.  Prior to joining the MET, his many years as a journeyman included seasons as Wig and Makeup Designer for Michigan Opera Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre, the Lake George Opera Festival, and as a wig and makeup artist for the opera companies of Philadelphia, Miami, and St. Louis, among others.  He is currently a free-lance theatrical wigmaker, with clients that include various museums in the United States, including George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Estate in Alexandria, Virginia.

Steven Horak


(ASM - Don Pasquale / Asst. Properties Manager)

Carol Szwei recently received her B.M. in Vocal Performance from Hunter College, under the tutelage of Susan Gonzalez and Noby Ishida. A recipient of the Victoria
Bitterman Fellowship, she will begin her Master’s in Vocal Performance this upcoming fall. Ms. Szwei performed in the New York City premiere of the National Opera Association’s Chamber Opera first prize winner, an Embarrassing Position as Miss Paige. She also performed with
Hunter College Opera Theater as Miss Pooder in Thomas Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca at the Kaye Playhouse. Carol is a wedding singer at Our Lady of Grace Church in Fairview, NJ and recently sang in the Theater at Madison Square Garden as part of her commencement ceremony. She returns to PTP after assistant stage managing Madama Butterfly.

"Thank you Gina, Mark and Sadie for your guidance!" -Carol Szwei

Carol Szwei


(Stage Manager Don Pasquale)

Jeremy Gavrilov is a second-year
Computer Science student, with a soon to be minor in Graphic Design, from Syracuse University. He is no stranger to the stage however, working on several productions at Edward R. Murrow High School, in Brooklyn, such as A View from the Bridge, The Addams Family, Miss Saigon, Hello Dolly, Into the Woods, and West Side Story to name a few. He is very excited to work on this production and hopes you enjoy
the show.

Jeremy Gavrilov


(Director, Don Pasquale)

Laura Alley enjoys a distinguished career in opera direction. She has a current repertoire of over sixty operas, which she has directed throughout the United States. Highlights include the European premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles with Jerome Sirlin in Hannover, Germany, and the American premieres of Kinkakuji and The Dreyfus Affair for New York City Opera. Among the opera companies for which she has directed much of the standard repertoire are New York City Opera, Syracuse, Kansas City, San Francisco, Austin, Cleveland, Chautauqua, Connecticut, New Orleans and El Paso. Miss Alley has taught and directed opera workshop productions at Indiana University, Louisiana State University, the Kansas City Conservatory, Temple University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Converse College, Rutgers University, New York University and the University of Georgia. She is currently on the opera faculty of the Mannes College of Music where she teaches Acting for Singers and directed the critically-acclaimed The Magic FluteIl Tabarro and Gianni SchicchiThe Marriage of FigaroDialogues of the CarmelitesLa TraviataCosì fan tutte and Falstaff. Throughout the ten yes of Prelude to Performance she has directed Don GiovanniThe Tales of HoffmannUn ballo in maschera and Die Zauberflöte.

Laura Alley 


(Assistant Conductor/Chorus Director/Librarian)

Noby Ishida is the founder and artistic director of the Satori Opera where he con-ducts the professional opera ensemble and young artist program. He was formerly the musical director of the Remarkable Theatre Brigade and conductor for the Opera Management Corporation. As a pianist, Mr. Ishida has performed in numerous halls in New York City including Merkin Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Bechstein Center, Steinway Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. He is a freelance vocal coach in New York City, working with artists who sing for major opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera Company, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and San Francisco Opera among others. He has been on the vocal coaching staffs of Temple University, University of Miami, Bennington College, New School University, the International Academy of Rome, and CUNY. Noby is thrilled to join the staff of the Martina Arroyo Foundation´s Prelude to Performance program this summer.

Noby Ishida



Sadie Rucker  holds a Master of Music Education degree from Drake University with emphasis on voice and piano. She is the personal coach and accompanist for her husband, baritone Mark Rucker in recital around the US. She has been in charge of publicity for Prelude to Performance since its inception. She is also mother to Mary Carolyn Delaney who is a lawyer in Wisconsin and Michael Delaney who is an artist living in New York.

Sadie Rucker



(Makeup Assistant)

Sevrin Anne Mason began working as a make-up artist to supplement her acting career and continues to pursue both. Past favorite productions include Dialogues of the Carmelites, Così fan tutte, and Falstaff with Mannes College The New School for Music; Ivona, Princess of Burgundia with Williamstown Theater; and Manon Lescaut and Thérèse Raquin with Dicapo Opera Theatre. Sevrin graduated from Boston University’s BFA program and played Mercy Lewis in The Crucible on Broadway in a production starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney.

Sevrin Mason



Conductor, pianist, and harpsichordist Jennifer Peterson  is the director of operamission, an arts organization bringing opera, chamber music, art song, and cabaret to audiences. Future operamission presentations and plans can be followed at operamission.org. Currently underway are productions of the complete output of G. F. Handel's 39 Italian operas. She has appeared at over seventy-five opera companies in the United States and internationally, including the New York City
Opera, and the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel. She received her musical training at the Oberlin College-Conservatory of Music, the Indiana University School of Music, and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY where she co-founded the Rochester Chamber Opera. Born in Anchorage, Alaska, she grew up on the west coast and has been residing in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens.

Jennifer Peterson


(Accompanist - Falstaff)

Joel Harder is in demand as an accompanist, vocal coach and chamber musician and has performed in venues throughout Canada, the United States, England and Austria. Equally at home in performance of chamber music, song and operatic repertoire, He has performed concerts in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, the Caramoor Centre for the Arts, and the Beethovenhaus in Baden, Austria. He has worked with such renowned artists as Stéphane Lemelin and Charles Owen. He has worked with a number of distinguished conductors on operatic repertoire, including Maestros James Conlon, Christoph and Lorin Maazel. He is undertaking his fourth year as a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow in Collaborative Piano at the Juilliard School. He is currently researching and writing on the melodies of composer André Caplet.

Joel Harder


Apply to Prelude to Performance

8x11 opera poster 2018 corrected edited 123.jpg


Prelude is open to opera singers ages 20–35.

  • Applicants must have sufficient vocal experience and stamina to handle the course of study and performance demands.

  • Applicants will be selected through an audition process by Ms. Arroyo and her artistic staff.

  • Recommendations from two professionals must accompany each application.

Tuition is FREE!

Be aware the program does not include housing and living expenses.

  • Information about housing for participants from outside New York City will be available. However "tuition free" only refers to participants and not auditors or covers.

Additional Questions or comments?

We'd love to hear from you. 

Name *

Auditions 2018

Auditions are now Closed 

Auditions are held at Hunter College in the Spring

695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065



Stipends are limited. 

  • The breakdown will be presented at a later date.

  • Please also be aware that because of some grants that were not received, we are forced to make major cuts in our stipends. Therefore, stipends will be VERY limited.